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Japan becomes China's favorite foreign spot for New Year's

South Korea loses favor with travelers over soured diplomatic relationships

Japan sees more repeat vacationers from China.

CHONGQING -- Chinese tourists turned Japan into their most popular overseas destination for the New Year's holiday, with an increase in individual travelers spurred by positive reviews from fellow vacationers.

Hokkaido and Aomori prefectures were especially popular for their snow-covered views and hot springs, said Chinese travel website operator Ctrip, which compiled the rankings. Japan rose from third last year to the top spot despite a Chinese limit on tour groups to regional cities.

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